Connecticut man pleads guilty in celebrity nude photo leak
A Connecticut man accused in the so-called “Celebgate” nude photo hacking scandal that victimized Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Lawrence has agreed to plead guilty.
Private photos of Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst and others were leaked on the internet in 2014, leading to criminal charges against four cyber-culprits found to have been involved.
George Garofano, from North Branford, agreed to plead guilty Thursday to unauthorized access to a protected computer and faces up to five years in prison. The 26-year-old Garofano will likely be sentenced to up to 16 months in the federal case, according to the Hartford Courant.
“George is a good person who was taken advantage of by several hackers more sophisticated than himself,” lawyer Richard Lynch said in an email to Hartford Courant. “He made mistakes, admits his guilt, apologizes to the victims and seeks the leniency of the court.”
Prosecutors say Garofano sent emails that appeared to be from Apple encouraging victims to reveal usernames and passwords, or to enter them on a website where he could retrieve them.
Kate Upton was one of the celebrity victims of the nude photo hacking scandal.
(Steve Jennings/Getty Images for EXPRESS)
Investigators had previously linked Emilio Herrera, Edward Majerczyk, and Ryan Collins to the photo hacking scandal.
In the past, the Oscar-winner Lawrence has called the photo hacking a “sex crime.”
“It is a sexual violation,” she told Vanity Fair in 2014. “It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.”
With News Wire Services